Buying a home is one of the biggest decisions you’ll ever make, but because it’s such a significant investment, it’s important that future homeowners go into the process prepared. The problem is that this is easier said than done.
That’s because, in most communities, we don’t share many of the behind-the-scenes details that go into buying a home, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you approach purchasing your first home aware of these X key steps, the process will go more smoothly, from start to finish.
Interview Multiple Realtors
Did you know that most people choose to work with the first real estate agent they speak to? This is the case whether they’ve just picked up the phone and called a local agency or if they were referred to an agent by a friend – but however you find an agent, this is a poor choice. Experts recommend interviewing at least three real estate agents when planning to buy a home so that you can get a sense of your options. Then, if you decide to work with the first agent you interviewed, you’ll feel confident that you’re making an informed decision.
Emphasize The Inspection
With the growth of online home purchases, many people don’t see their new home in person before closing the sale, which is a risky proposition all on its own. Combine that with a poorly executed home inspection, and you could be setting yourself up for long-term problems.
Before closing on a new home, the property should undergo a thorough inspection. This should include ruling out possible infestations such as termites or mice, which may not be externally obvious but may cause serious damage; checking for water damage; and identifying and dealing with any mold. As a buyer, you should also establish what problems you feel are negotiable – those which, for a decreased sale price, you’re willing to fix yourself – and which issues absolutely need to be fixed before closing.
Evaluate Insurance Options
When you buy a home, you need to have homeowners insurance, but how much your insurance will cost and what it will cover varies based on a variety of factors. As you progress through the process of buying a home, then, it’s important to reach out to insurance providers to learn more about what type of homeowner’s insurance policy you need, to get a quote, and explore how your insurance company can assist you down the line. And, don’t forget to ask about exclusions to your policy and any supplemental coverage you might benefit from having.
Plan For Added Costs
Most people are clear on things like down payments and insurance when purchasing a home, but like so many major undertakings, buying a home also comes with a variety of hidden costs that you may not be prepared for. When saving to buy your first home, then, make sure you take added expenses like escrow fees, agent commissions, and other required costs into account. These can significantly increase your expenses in the moment, so it’s important to have extra money saved up.
The experience of buying your first home is one of excitement and anxiety mixed together, but knowing what to expect can make the process more manageable. So, while some surprises are bound to emerge no matter how prepared you are, don’t overlook the importance of doing your homework.
The more you know, the more you can focus on the joy and accomplishment of this moment – you deserve it!